"The Road Home" Crisis Center
It was during one of the trips, sitting around kitchen table with several volunteers, we have realized that what would make the biggest different in the out mission to beater lives of children. It is to help mothers who have no choice but to give children into orphanages because of family abuse. These mothers are usually from orphanages themselves. They aged out, met a guy who was nice for a bit, got pregnant, and that is where abuse starts. There so many problems with young woman from institutional upbringing, like lack of knowing how to take care of kids, to how to run a household, and mostly how to stand up for themselves, especially when they have no place to go. Inna offered a building, Olga offered her knowledge of taking care of paperwork, and I offered fund raising to get it all started.
We have started the social center “The Road Home” for battered women and their children. We rebuild an old bakery into a housing with several bedrooms. The first family came to us in February of 2019. From that time until now (November 2021) we had over 25 families and more then 60 kids. We make sure the families are safe, moms learn basic skill of childcare and house care. We make sure they have all of the document to get jobs and get kids into schools. That is because most run from abusive parntners with nothing, including paperwork. Several ended up settling in the same village as the center, many move on in several month to t bigger city with more job opportunities. The kids thrive, are loved, most come with developmental delays in behavior and speech, and just bloom under our care. The project are run by Pogerelaya family. Mother, Inna, becomes mom and grandma to everyone. Olga comes as needed and does …well, a lot! We have few key workers/ volunteers, but most of the work is done by mothers as they learn how to get on their feet. We have now built a play room, have a vegetable garden, chickens that lay eggs and a cow! Kids get to have fresh milk and cheese. Mothers also can produce for the winter and bake bread.
Over 60 kids were kept out of orphanages and over 25 moms got to keep their children!